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Another Bridgestone team in 2005?

Bridgestone, who won their first two MotoGP races with Camel Honda's Makoto Tamada this season, look set to expand their premier-class line-up further for 2005.

During an exclusive interview with Crash.net, Bridgestone UK motorcycle race services manager, Gary Hartshorne, was asked if there would be any changes to the current Kawasaki, Suzuki and Makoto Tamada/Camel Honda line-up.

"As far as I know it's the current line-up plus another team (for 2005)," he replied. "That's what I think is going to happen. Obviously I can't say too much at the moment."

The likelihood of a line-up change has also been confirmed by others at the Japanese company and, while the Bridgestone representatives wouldn't comment further, other sources have confirmed that Ducati switching to Bridgestone is 'a possibility'.

Ducati have used Michelin tyres since their MotoGP debut in 2003 and, having suffered a tough 2004 season - where they took just two podiums - it would seem illogical for the Bologna based company to then switch away from the dominant MotoGP tyre brand.

While no-one that Crash.net approached would go on record to discuss the possible Ducati move, we understand that the issue is linked to the brand of tyres Ducati supply their new road bikes with.

Most tyre manufacturers recoup some of their racing costs by coming to an arrangement, whereby the road bike side of each of the factory teams agrees to buy a certain number of tyres, at a reduced price, to be fitted to their new road bikes.

However, it is rumoured that - partly because the racing and streetbike sides of Ducati are so separate - Michelins haven't been appearing on the Italian road bikes in the numbers expected by the French company. A similar problem is thought to have prompted Suzuki's switch from Michelin to Bridgestone at the end of 2003.

It is not clear whether Michelin now want the road tyre issue corrected, and so are putting pressure on Ducati, or if Ducati are simply considering a better (financial) offer from Bridgestone, perhaps with a smaller or even non-existent road tyre deal.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tamada and Capirossi, Czech MotoGP, 2004
Tamada, Japanese MotoGP Race 2004
Tamada and Nakano, Japanese MotoGP Race, 2004
Marquez` Bridgestone tyre after race, German MotoGP 2014
Changing Bradl`s Bridgestone tyres and wheels on the grid, German MotoGP 2014
Changing Bradl`s Bridgestone tyres and wheels on the grid, German MotoGP 2014
Changing Bradl`s Bridgestone tyres and wheels on the grid, German MotoGP 2014
Changing Bradl`s Bridgestone tyres and wheels on the grid, German MotoGP 2014
Bridgestone tyre temperature sensor, German MotoGP 2014
Bridgestone tyre, German MotoGP 2014
Bridgestone tyre, German MotoGP 2014
Bridgestone technician and Galbusera, German MotoGP 2014
Bridgestone tyre, German MotoGP 2014
Bridgestone tyre, German MotoGP 2014
Romagnoli, Bridgestone technician, Crutchlow, German MotoGP 2014
Meregalli, Bridgestone technician, Dutch MotoGP Race 2014
Bridgestone technician, Dutch MotoGP 2014
Marquez. Bridgestone rain tyre, Dutch MotoGP 2014

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